I have spent the last few days evaluating a number of forum options available for WordPress:
wpforo was the most full-featured out of the box. However, I had a few concerns about documentation (it isn’t complete, a no-no in my view when it comes to releasing software) and internal messages still reflected version 1 even though things had been moved around as of version 2. Support turn-around was very quick, so that’s good. Ultimately, I wasn’t sure we needed all those features and the complexity associated with it.
bbPress has the virtue of being founded by original WordPress authors, which means they understand the system well. The base plug-in offers forum features but one would like more. Fortunately, there are numerous (100+ is the claim) add-on plug-ins available–and I did try some out–but these are mostly written by independent authors and are not purely complementary to one another (i.e., features overlap). Documentation is complete but not terribly elegant. In testing, I found that the formatting options available depended upon how one added a new topic (whether directly or from the WordPress menu) which I thought was unnecessarily confusing.
BuddyPress is more of a social networking plug-in which allows members to set up groups and communities à la Facebook and so on. Not sure we need that, but it can always be installed later, depending.
Asgaros was the last one I tested. It has limitations and as far as I can see, isn’t expandable in and of itself, but it seems to have everything we need for now in one package and configuration is very straightforward. I decided to go with this one for now.1
The only feature missing from the current set-up which I can see might be useful is a messaging system, so I will look into a plug-in for that. I’m not sure it’s absolutely essential but it might be worth having.